Ever since it was confirmed that Yuuri did, in fact, buy both rings in episode 10, I’ve been thinking about the ring exchange scene.
And I came to some interesting conclusions that I haven’t previously really considered.
First of all, in order to get from the jewelry store
to the Cathedral
Yuuri had to actually ask Victor to walk with him there and moreover had to ask Victor to put that ring on his finger.
And I think this is actually quite important.
On one hand, Yuuri does want to have a good luck charm and does want to give Victor a present to show his gratitude but on the other hand, he chooses rings (expensive rings, might I add), knowing very well what they symbolize. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence or his desperation in trying to find a matching item and just ‘settling’ for rings just because he couldn’t find anything better (and that idea sounds silly even as I type it).
Throughout the exchange scene we can see that Yuuri is flushed, embarrassed.
Some people say that this is because he’s afraid that Victor will misunderstand his intentions and won’t understand that the rings are just a gift or a good luck charm, but…
Friendly reminder: Yuuri brought him under that cathedral. Surely, that’s not the best place to choose if you want to avoid misunderstandings, is it?
Not to mention that he would have most likely told Victor that they are good luck charms (off-screen); he has no real reason to hide this information from him.
So why does Yuuri look so flustered?
Because he wants those rings to mean more than that.
Yuuri chose rings, of all things and brought Victor to a cathedral, of all places because he wants to experience an engagement/wedding with Victor.
Because he can’t actually experience it (which I’ll explain below), he wants at least a taste of what it would be like, what it would feel like, and he knows that it’s self-indulgent, but he wants it anyway which is most likely the source of the blush on his cheeks.
The reason he can’t actually propose is simple - he’s certain that his time with Victor is limited and that they will go their separate ways when Yuuri retires. He doesn’t want to tie Victor down. He worries that Victor only sees him as a skater and any more romantic feelings he holds are unrequited.
And yet, he wants to see how it would feel to actually have the One and Only Victor Nikiforov put a ring on his finger. He’s so in love that he wants to experience such an important moment, even if it won’t exactly be “real”.
How does Victor take to it?
He’s initially surprised and doesn’t know what to think. “Is this a Japanese tradition I don’t know or is it what I think it is?” is probably what’s going through his mind.
he goes along with it and does what Yuuri asks of him, because he knows that it’s important to Yuuri. I think he may be aware that it’s more than just a good luck charm to Yuuri, but he wants to comply to his wishes, instead of potentially being too straightforward and ruining the moment. I think at this point, the rings gain a special meaning to him as well.
By the end of the scene
Yuuri looks considerably relieved. He’s glad that Victor understood his request for “something for good luck” and feels like he got away with the almost engagement.
I would assume that Victor actually tells him something along the lines of “So, are we fiancés now?” before they meet up with the others and Yuuri freaks out for a moment but then they talk things out and decide that they are indeed engaged.
Or, perhaps, they never do talk things out which is why Yuuri tells Victor what he tells him at the end of episode 11 and why he still thinks that their relationship is temporary.
Either way, I think Yuuri’s motivation in this scene is clear: Apart from wanting the rings to be good luck charms and a thank-you gift to Victor, he wants to know how it would feel to exchange rings with Victor, even if in the end, they won’t bind them for life.
Of course, it’s just my interpretation, but I think that’s precious.